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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Court refuses to order Diezani’s arrest, seeks AGF’s expatriation evidence

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be residing in the United Kingdom.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu rejected the EFCC’s request for an arrest warrant citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons which the court issued on the former minister as far back as July 24, 2020.

The commission had in requesting for the criminal summons in July claimed that it was required to facilitate the ex-minister’s extradition to Nigeria.

Faced with the failure of the ex-minister to honour the summons on Wednesday, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against her

Ruling on the request by EFCC, Justice Ojukwu rejected it as she noted that the criminal summons which the court issued on Diezani in the ruling of July 24, 2019, ought to be sufficient for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.

The judge who expressed willingness to give the extradition bid a chance to survive, however, demanded an affidavit with evidence from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (the office with exclusive power to facilitate extradition), to prove that there was a need for the arrest warrant to have Diezani extradited.

The judge adjourned till December 3 for report and possible arraignment of the defendant.

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